The Microsoft event on June 24 finally confirmed what many had been speculating for weeks. A new version of Windows is coming soon. Its latest version includes several new features. These include snap layout, snap groups, improved docking experience, and more!
Here are some of the best Windows 11 innovations that will make you more efficient and productive.
1. Snap Layout
Windows power users will be familiar with FancyZones. Using PowerToys, you can snap your programs to specific sections of the screen. If you frequently work with ultrawide or large screens, this is ideal for you.
With Windows 11, you won’t need PowerToys to do this. Windows 11 will give you layout options based on your display size as soon as you hover your mouse over the restore icon.
You can arrange all your apps in the way that works best for you with a few clicks. You no longer need to manually do this with every open program, saving you time and effort.
Best of all, Windows will remember the Snap Layout and group them. More on that next.
2. Snap Groups
With Snap Layout, you can arrange your Windows exactly the way you like. When you open a new program, it will disorganize your current app layout. This means you’ll lose your arrangement, and you’ll have to select the apps you’re using again.
With Windows 11, you won’t have to worry about this. If you click on an app grouped under a Snap Layout in your taskbar, you will see all the other programs that are part of that group.
As an example, let’s say you have Chrome, Microsoft Word, and Slack all open in a Snap Layout on your screen. In previous versions of Windows, to switch back to the three apps you were using after opening another app, you had to locate and click them all in the taskbar.
But with Windows 11, just open any of the apps in the Snap Group, and all other linked windows will return to their places in the layout.
3. Undocking Made Easy
Many use an external display on their laptop and other mobile devices. But when you unplug your PC from the screen with apps open, Windows will try to fit them all on your laptop monitor.
This results in a messy desktop, with your open programs all over the remaining screen. But with Windows 11, when you undock your computer, it will minimize all the apps in the external display to your taskbar.
And when you dock your device to the screen again, it will restore the Snap Group you previously have there. So, even if you take your laptop with you, all the apps you’re working on will be there on your external screen when you return.
4. Microsoft Teams Integration
Windows 11 integrates a messaging and collaboration app via Microsoft Teams. It now allows you to send messages and make video calls straight from the desktop.
While it’s not as popular as other services like Zoom and Messenger, it’s a convenient new feature. You can now communicate directly from your desktop to anyone, as long as they have a Teams account.
It helps that Microsoft Teams is also available on iOS and Android, so it has the potential to reach more people. However, only time will tell if this feature catches on with the rest of the population.
First introduced in Vista, Windows Widgets lets you have useful mini-apps on your desktop. It was eventually axed from Windows when security vulnerabilities we discovered.
But with Android and iOS now having widgets, it’s good that Microsoft brought it back in Windows 11.
Windows Widgets will let you get a snapshot of your schedule, task list, email, and a whole lot more. You can also view relevant news stories, content, and more straight from your desktop.
6. New Windows Gestures
Many professionals are hesitant to own two-in-one laptops or touchscreen displays. This is because navigating Windows with your fingers isn’t as intuitive as it should be.
This changes with Windows 11. Microsoft designed the OS to work with both your hands and a mouse. In computer mode, Windows 11 maintains the familiar UI. But in tablet mode, it tweaks the interface so that it’s easier to operate.
Fingers are not as precise as cursors, and we cannot see what we are tapping. That’s why they added bigger touch targets and more space between icons. There are even visual cues to make resizing and moving apps easier.
Microsoft also used the same touchpad gestures to navigate the screen. You don’t have to relearn anything to use your touchscreen effectively. In both tablet and laptop modes, Windows 11 is intuitive and easy to use.
7. A Revamped Windows Store
Windows 11 features an app store that is completely rebuilt from the ground up. This is great news, as the current Microsoft Store has multiple issues.
More than that, the new Windows Store will also now have the traditional Windows apps you’re used to. This makes your experience safer because you can download software directly from Microsoft. With that, you’re sure that what you install is free from malware.
Best of all, Microsoft claims that they aren’t taking a cut from the developers. So, you can expect software prices there to be the same or even cheaper than elsewhere.
8. Android Apps in Windows 11
This is probably the biggest surprise of all. Through the Amazon Appstore in the Microsoft Store, Android apps are now available on Windows 11.
The feature lets you run the more than 3 million apps available on Google Play. Because many iOS apps are also available on Android, you can run your smartphone apps on your PC.
Windows integrates these apps into the start menu and the taskbar, just like any other program. You can also use Snap Layout to organize the Android apps alongside your regular Windows apps.
Intel’s Bridge Technology makes using Android apps feel native to Windows. With this innovation, working on your smartphone, tablet, and PC will be seamless and easy.
The Future of Windows Is Here
Recent events have changed our work environment. Many positions now work from home (or pretty much anywhere!). Our increased reliance on portable and mobile devices reflects Window’s latest innovations.
And you know what the best thing about this is? As long as your computer is compatible, you’ll get a free upgrade to Windows 11. Microsoft hasn’t given a launch date yet. However, it’s expected to come in late 2021.
Image Credits: Microsoft
The software giant has announced the new iteration of its famous operating system.
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